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Introverts need people too!

balance introverts May 22, 2019

I spent the month of October traveling around, attending conferences, surrounded by people, and at a certain level, that is very tiring. You've got to be on your A game the whole time, talking to people, making new friends, making new connections, introducing yourself, all those things that introverts tend to struggle with. It's just full on. It's all day, every day, and it's very tiring.

Then I've come back, and I'm back in my office, where I work by myself. I have a team but they're remote, so they all work from their homes, and I'm now working by myself again, and I'm finding it a bit of a challenge.

I'm finding that it's a bit lonely. I'm finding that I get through part of the day and I think, "Gee, I want to have someone to talk to."

I want to have that human connection and interaction, and I found last week that I didn't even leave the house.

I do work from home, so it's a separate office. It's kind of in the basement, and the living quarters are upstairs, so it's a completely separate space, separate door outside. In reality, it's probably three meters away from me. It's not far. I could actually walk outside very easily. But because I've been head down, busy working, I haven't stepped outside the house for a few days, haven't spoken to anybody for a few days.

Actually, that's not quite true because I have had some work phone calls. But you know what I mean? It's about, it's kind of gone from the sublime to the  ridiculous, from this massive, being in conferences with 1,000 people, with people everywhere, being part of the conference itself, in terms of the learning and the people in that, but also breaking out into small groups and talking about what we've learnt, and then in the breakfast beforehand, and the lunch breaks, the evening breaks, being with people all the time, and no space for quiet time by yourself.

Now I've got all this quiet time by myself and it's crazy. I'm kind of wanting to have some of that human interaction, so it's really, really interesting to see how that's playing itself out.

I think of myself as an introvert. Other people might say I'm an extrovert. It probably depends on the circumstances. I do love being around people, but equally, I love my solitude, so it's about finding that balance, I think.

I remember to when I had my business, and I had a half a dozen staff, and I did get to the point where I just, I loved the time before 9:00, before they turned up. I loved the time after 5:00, when they'd all gone home and I had this quiet time to myself. I loved going into the office on a Saturday because I was the only one there, and yet I loved the buzz of the people around during the week.

So it is, it's that, finding that balance, and I think if you're a solopreneur, working on your own, really, it's important to make sure that you are connecting with people, that you are getting out, that you're not allowing yourself to stay cooped up in the house the whole time, that you find a way to get out and enjoy the world.

Whether that's going for a quiet walk, although that is by yourself, or whether it's networking, and I have talked about that in an earlier episode, or whether it's just making time for friends, making sure that you are connecting with your friends, making the time for them and not shutting away from those invitations when they come your way.

I think that's the key message, that it's really important to have those personal connections, the real connections, as well as the online connections.

So for me, right at the moment, yes, it's a bit of a battle, having gone from being completely immersed with 1,000 people around me, to now being by myself. I put it to you, if you are working from home, what are you doing to get yourself out, to get yourself communicating with people, to get yourself physically going and having a cup of coffee, or a lunch, or catching up for dinner with friends, or going to the movies? What are you doing to get yourself out so that you're not cooped up inside?

And if you are surrounded by people all the time, the flip side of that, what are you doing to give yourself some time out by yourself, to take that quiet, peaceful walk on your own, to go for a bike ride? What are you doing to nourish that other side of you that does need some quiet time by yourself, listening to music, whatever it is, whatever you love doing, what are you doing?

So it's finding the balance. I'm working on it. 

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